Ring of Bone: Collected Poems
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Ring of Bone: Collected Poems

4.28 of 5 stars 4.28  ·  rating details  ·  116 ratings  ·  14 reviews
"Lew Welch writes lyrical poems of clarity, humor, and dark probings . . . jazz musical phrasings of American speech is one of Welch's clearest contributions." — Gary Snyder
Lew Welch was a brilliant and troubled poet, legendary among his Beat peers. He disappeared in 1971, leaving a suicide note behind.
Ring of Bone collects poems, songs, and some drawings, documenting the...more
Paperback, 256 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by City Lights Publishers (first published January 1st 1973)
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Fantastic collection of poetry. Lew Welch is not that well known although his university buddies Snyder and Whalen are and will attest to Welch's clear talent and voice as a unique and strong poet in his own right. This collects all of his poetry more or less before that fateful day in 1971 when he left Snyder's cabin with his gun to finish it all.
Welch's body was never found but he has left behind a very strong collection of work.
His poem, 'Chicago Poem' features some great verse in which he...more
City Lights
The Rumpus
"In the poet's own words, [Ring of Bone] is a spiritual autobiography . . . Lew Welch was many things; a scholar, a father, a drunk, a laborer, an adman, a madman, a friend, and an ascetic— no better description of him exists than that which came in his own vision, deep in the wilds of the Klamath Mountains, the poem after which the collection is titled... These 40 years later, Lew, you are missed."
—Lisa Wells

"...Music permeates his poems, which range from scored lyrics to epis...more
"He viajado,
He hecho un circuito,
He vivido en 14 ciudades,
He sido una palabra en un libro,
He sido un libro originalmente..."
I consider Lew Welch one of the most interesting 20C. American poets. There's a SELECTED POEMS but you've really got to read this COLLECTED POEMS, which includes key early work, to understand him. He could write a memorable poem about the beauty of a mountain in Oregon (without Gary Snyder's smarmy smugness) or about a Tenderloin bar in San Francisco (without the pointless vulgarity that typified Charles Bukowksi's poetry)....The guy was sui generis.
Eric Shaffer
Without doubt, this is my favorite book of poetry. Lew Welch is our most undersung and excellent of ecological and environmental poets. In this volume, read "Hermit Poems" and "The Song Mt. Tamalpais Sings" for an astonishing glimpse of how good, clear, simple, direct, and effective poetry can be.
One of my students is writing his thesis on Welch, which caused me to get out my copy of Ring of Bone. It is well worth rereading. Some of the poems seem a little dated--some level of 60's jargon, etc.--but there are striking, lucid perceptions here and a fine sense of play and adventure.
Oct 16, 2012 Don added it
The poems in RING OF BONES, like the collected poems of all poets, are hit and miss, depending, naturally, on your taste and sensibility. However, for me, as a writer, Lew Welch's essay "Poetry as Language", at the back of the book, was in itself worth the price of the book.
Apr 06, 2007 Hal rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: poetry lovers, wisdom seekers, dharma bums
The collected poems (1950-1971) of San Francisco Bay area poet Lew Welch. His brilliant succinct insights cut to the bone, marrow, heart of the matter of the universe. An unacknowledged master.
Noel Kroeplin
I like Lew Welch. He was probably one of the most fascinating poets of the beat generation. And there's a few poems in this book that are absolutely brilliant.
One of my favorite books of all time. I think this says more about me then about the book.
Least well-known of the beats; poems are sometimes depressive and tentative.
Great collection of poems by one of my favorite Beat artists.
Billy Candelaria
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Lewis Barrett Welch, Jr. is an American poet associated with the Beat generation of poets, artists, and iconoclasts.

According to Aram Saroyan who wrote Genesis Angels: The Saga of Lew Welch and the Beat Generation, Welch decided to become a writer after reading Gertrude Stein's long story "Melanctha." Welch published and performed widely during the 1960s, and taught a poetry workshop as part of th...more
More about Lew Welch...
Selected Poems How I Work as a Poet and Other Essays How I Read Gertrude Stein I, Leo I Remain, Vol. 1: 1949-1960

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